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Corporate Social Responsibility and the Open Society

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    Rights statement: © Rees, W., & Mackenzie, C. (2011). Corporate Social Responsibility and the Open Society. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1966030

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011


We analyse the FTSE4Good corporate social responsibility score of 1,825 firms in 25 countries and hypothesise that corporate social responsibility imposes costs on the firm’s owners, whereas benefits may only partially accrue to those owners or instead to various other stakeholders. Managers may then be expected to more enthusiastically adopt CSR practices where these other stakeholders are influential but they will be less committed where entrenched owners may resist discretionary expenditure. Our evidence is consistent with this hypothesis and corporate social responsibility, as measured by FTSE4Good, is higher where entrenched shareholders are absent, where internal firm governance is good, where firms are accountable through the FTSE4Good process and where the World Bank’s assessment of “voice and accountability” is high. We view these characteristics as generally descriptive of an open society.

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